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Toyota Etios – Review
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Toyota Etios – Review

I know it was long over-due but then due to various reasons, I was able to keep my eyes, hands and feet on Etios just now.  But then as the age old cliché goes better late than never right? One parallel I could draw from this long pending review and Etios is even the car was much over-due from Toyota, ideally speaking the world’s largest car maker and seller should have launched the car in India couple of years back but then sometimes delay happens for various reasons. If it happens for a good reason and a better product, the delay can be forgiven.  Like almost in this case with Etios.  Read again, I stressed on almost.

My friends were betting on the car to give Maruti Suzuki’s D’zire a Hosni Mubarak fate. But does Etios have in it to take on the number one Sedan of the segment and topple it from its position?  Before answering this, let’s figure out the car and what it is all about.


So after setting up my date with the car. I arrived before it and went around it. Well, I wound not say Etios is a heart racing stunning beauty.  It has an understated elegance that also gives a commanding, soothing presence.  The front is classic Toyota-istic with crystal clear wrap-up of headlamps with indicator, parking lights integrated within to add to more clear looks with chrome ornamental finish of the grills and moulded fog lamps on bumper plus the Bonnet with neat lines that adds to the subdued style.  (The basic model of course comes with a Black matte font grille). The side profile holds in it a side protection moulding with classic chrome insert (the basic model does away with it) giving a visual aerodynamic appeal apart from the safety feature.  The rear of the car continues with the understated elegance without going over-board with interestingly good looking clear red tail lamps.  Overall Etios has a sensible, not-over-the-board, subdued styling.

Ok after Nano does any other car come with single wiper these days? I can’t recollect immediately but you have Etios. Though the broad sweep is aimed at maximum coverage, I doubt practically how it efficiently it will handle the Indian rainy season.

Etios comes in 6 colors: Symphony Silver, Harmony Beige, Serene Bluish Silver, Vermilion Red, Celestial Black, White.

So far, so good.  Even if the exteriors where not flamboyant, it scored better than D’Zire, its main number game rival.  Understated, not loud, it had a strong, conservative but pleasant look.


What caught my eyes, when I stepped in was the central instrumental console.  A smart design element by Toyota in an otherwise conservatively designed car.  The tachometer, digital trip meter, the audio console and all the buttons and knobs sits pretty well over there. But then my eyes also caught hold of the poor dashboard plastic quality. Yes, cost is a factor but then from Toyota our expectations are always high.  So one cannot deny a dip in the excitement.

You stretch your legs, turn around, peep into the rear and you smile again coz the car stacks in a plenty of head room, leg room, shoulder room, knee room and amble real estate both in from and rear. It also packs in smart placements like vertically stacked air-vents, seven 1 litre bottle holders, a spacious 13 litre cooled glove box etc.

With 595 litres of luggage space, the boot space is definitely something to boast of.

The top two versions of the car comes with dual tone fabric upholstery (Black & grey, Black & red) and the basic two versions in a single tone (black).


Finally a good report card banks upon the performance. Sporting a 1496 cc,  16-valve 4 cylinder DOHC engine delivering 90 PS of power at 5600 rpm, riding on a kerb weight of 930 Kg helps Etios to surge very quick off the line. Thanks to the light weight, the drive is sprightly and sporty to drive. So Toyota does not leave any room for disappointment in the engineering front. Truly an uncompromising Toyota offering.

With the spiralling petrol price, the good news is the car gives 13.2 kmpl in city ride which is definitely not disappointing for a sedan.


Ex-show room price Bangalore: Rs.  4,92,530 for the very basic version to  6, 84,315 for the fully loaded version.

GingerChai verdict: Etios has every ingredient in it to conquer the Indian roads. They have taken time to understand the Indian market demand and have come up with a product that offers a no-nonsense car with remarkable Toyota engineering plus a bit of cost saving to grab the market.  Currently there is a waiting period of 6-8 months and if it is fine with you, go ahead for a test ride and take a call and chances are you might just like it.

0 15 February, 2011 Cars & Bikes February 15, 2011

About the author

A passionate car and bike enthusiast from Bangalore, Sanjiv drives the fast and fair lane and fills our cup with his car and bike reviews.

View all articles by Sanjiv Vakharia


    1. Vishal

      What is BAD about this car…I am planning to purchase Etios in a month. Please let me know wot is their that makes Etios a NO-BUY car.

  1. abhishek


  2. G.Viswanathan

    I purchased an ETIOS in May . The car is sensible car in the price category in which it has been placed .

    However TOYOTA as a company should address to ensure that the Plastic quality for the TOP END model should be better than the base versions .

    The Car does not have a great pick up but its Air Conditioning was pretty decent even in the HOT SUMMER .

    TOYOTA should consider providing FLOOR MATS for the Top end models atleast .

    The Wiper although single covers a large portion of the FRONT SCREEN and is good .

    The Car is easily manouvarable even in the crowded Indian Roads .

  3. myetios Munish

    Etios in short is an incomplete vehicle like a baby born prematurely. It is having a moderate engine with decent dynamics but cost cutting in other areas specially related to comfort has resulted in a half cooked product.

    As for being categorized as an economical product: I feel that as compared to other Toyota it is economical . But compared with its peers it is not a economy product and by no stretch of imagination can be described as value for money product.

    Once euphoria over Toyota badge goes, then Toyota will have to pull up its socks and improve Etios in many areas.

    In an attempt to reduce price the gaskets are also removed In Etios which makes the dust and dirt trapped in between the door and body and also make room for lizards, insects, cockroaches etc to get inside the door and body and they can easily enter inside as soon as the door is opened. These gaskets would have not costed more than INR 4000 for all 4 doors.

    The reduction in the quality of dampers and insulating material has made possible all the oscillations from the engine to get inside the passenger cabin and create nuisance for the driver.

    Human vibration is defined as the effect of mechanical vibration on the human body and it has long been recognised that the effects of direct vibration on the human body can be serious. It can can lead to blurred vision, loss of balance, loss of concentration, etc. In some cases, certain frequencies can permanently damage internal body organs. However, during our normal daily lives we are exposed to vibration of one kind or another, for example, in buses, cars and trains. Human vibration can be pleasant or unpleasant and we try to avoid exposing ourselves to unpleasant vibration such as travelling on bumpy roads. There are two main types of human vibration – whole-body vibration and hand-arm vibration. A person driving a vehicle is subjected to whole-body vibration which can disturb the central nervous system. Symptoms of this disturbance usually appear during, or shortly after, exposure in the form of fatigue, insomnia, headache and shakiness. Many people have experienced these nervous symptoms after they have,for example, completed a long car journey. However, the symptoms usually disappear after a period of rest.

    In India there are two very tough competitors Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai and we have definitely owned and driven their vehicle at one point of time in our family . Maruti and Hyundai also sell vehicles from starting INR 2L to 25L and we have always experienced that for them each car is pride and they give full service and attention to each category customer. Maruti and Suzuk has tried to provide maximum features to each vehicle and maintained quality in all their newly launched vehicles.There is no disparity among different vehicles and customers. Each customer is given due respect.

    Strangely but true Toyota people try to escape the flaws in Etios by merely giving the excuse that it is priced less and that is why the problems are there. This is really insulting for the customer who has spent all his hard earned money for the Toyota brand.

    Please understand that I have however spent 7.5 Lakh on procuring this vehicle and this is no way lower price that I have paid for buying Etios. I am a middle class person and I can not afford to sell this vehicle and look for another vehicle.If Toyota is facing any quality issues with the Etios they should admit it as they have done it gracefully in other parts of the world.

    There is one more fact that all other Toyota vehicles were developed in Japan and have been launched worldwide in many countries and have undergone five or more than 5 modifications and in Toyota term it is called as generation which is mentioned in case of Corlla History on Toyota bharat website. Each generation is of approximately 5 years starting from 1966 -2011.

    I own Toyota Etios and there is no comfort. I still prefer to drive my 11 years old WagonR. My new Toyota Etios Sedan vibrates as if a tractor engine is fitted inside it. Remember it is a Petrol Engine.

    The worst part is that Toyota company engineers are not acknowledging the problems which are visible with naked eye to them.

    We always prefer petrol over diesel fuel run vehicles because we do not mind spending more money on fuel and we do not like Engine Noise and Vibration.But in Toyota Etios Sedan you pay more for Petrol fuel and face the Engine Noise and Vibrations.

    The vehicle lacks proper insulation and dampers used in the engine compartment which can reduce the engine noise inside the passenger cabin. The Etios design fails in this field as lot of noise is heard from engine and the tyres and road, inside the passenger cabin which causes irritation. After driving for few kilometers the vibrations get more intense and are felt through steering, dashboard, side arm rest and seats as they vibrate and make the journey tiring and boring for driver and passengers as well. This Vibration effect increase as the AC is switched “OFF”. You can live with it in Summers but what will happen in Winters?.

    The other drawbacks include the absence of Weather gaskets in all the four doors. The absence of the gaskets make it convenient for dust, insects, lizards, cockroaches to get inside the Toyota Etios Sedan. Moreover the inside gaskets stick to the door in a manner that if you open the door after the gap of even 2 days, the door becomes very hard to open as the rubber gasket stick on the open-able door surface.and also the Quality of the paint is very poor, which just gets away as soon as it come in contact with any surface. The average is also close to half as claimed by Toyota.

    I am surprised that after researching for 5 years in India and designing a vehicle as per the Indian standard conditions the Toyota Etios Sedan fails to impress in terms of the price being paid

    Toyota Etios Sedan does not deserve to be even categorised a “SEDAN” as it does not provide basic comfort. It is by the virtue of the design that it is called “SEDAN”

    Toyota Etios Sedan occupies more space on Road, but not in owner’s heart.

    1. Dutta

      I am driving the Etios for the last 2 months and have covered more than 2000 kms. What you have written against Etios is completely wrong and I think has been deliberately written by you to misguide people. None of the negatives written by you against Etios is actually true. I urge prospective buyers to actually test drive the Etios and you will realize that it is a real value for money and far superior to its close competitors lije Dzire and Manza


    Version Reviewed : VX

    Familiarity : Have driven two thousand kilometers
    Fuel Economy : 13 – 14 Km in Bangalore City reading.
    Good : Super Exterior, Spacious Boot, Comfort, Cooling, etc.
    Exterior Excellent Exteriors, Our family loving car, because of smiling face .
    Interior (Features, Space & Comfort) Space of the inside car is excellent, 5 people can sit very comfortable, Very good rear sit space, No doubt. Best in this segment. You will feel it, highly power full Air Conditioner and it cools very past.
    Engine Performance, Fuel Economy and Gearbox Great Engine Performance, Excellent Pickup, Fuel Economy is OK. Fuel economy getting in Bangalore city ride also 13 to 14 KM, depends on driving. Very good gear Box, Noise of the cabin is good, because I read two, three reviews and personally observed the particularly this issue but I, not feel it, there is much noise in cabin and it is in limit.
    Ride Quality & Handling This is great car to city ride as well as highway ride.
    Final Words I and my family are very happy Toyota Etios VX model. And one more thing before buying this car for my family, I personally tested Maruthi Swift Daizre, Indigo, and finally selected Etios because of Quality, Durability. Really it is value for Money for middle class people.
    I am very Happy with Toyota dealer, i.e. ‘Ravindu Toyota Rajajinagar.
    P.M. Dsouza.

  5. Toyota Etios

    Very nice post and review.I do agree with this aspect, this car is a class apart,We cannot compare it with others.This is a very good choice if you try considering Toyota Etios to be your car and ride with smooth performance for any kind of journey on the road.

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